Putin is resetting Russia’s Africa agenda to counter the US and China

(Quartz Africa, New York, 22 October 2019) The first-ever Russia-Africa summit will be held from Oct. 23-24 in Sochi, Russia, marking the culminating point of the return of Russia to Africa, with more than 50 African leaders and 3,000 delegates invited. This convening is only another illustration of the recent increase in  economic, security, and political-diplomatic engagements to foster Russia-Africa relations. Over the last decade there has been a proliferation of Russia-Africa bilateral committees, economic forums, and conferences for economic coordination. In 2011, the Russian Agency on Insurance of Export Credit Investments (EXIAR) was created in order to facilitate Russian companies’ activities and the protection of investments. Russia has boosted its initiative to strengthen ties with the African continent, signing a number of agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) to collaborate on various rail projects during the Russia-Africa economic forum in Sochi on October 23-24. In other news, the CEO of the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR), Nikita Gusakov, said that Russia was seeking to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, noting that the main challenge was to attract Russian companies to Africa. The AfCFTA hopes to encourage a movement from commodity exports to exportation of finished goods.